15.12 Choose learning rather than strange practices
The Master said, ‘I have been the whole day without eating, and the whole night without sleeping:– occupied with thinking. It was of no use. The better plan is to learn.’
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These practices of no food/no sleep are not to be followed blindly until advanced stage of cultivation. Confucius tried it but found it not so helpful in thinking, so he recommended regular studies and practices instead.
In Daoist meditation, there is a spectrum of meditation practices, focusing on self, mind, and energy, and many other types of meditation methods from the Buddhist traditions. Regarding food and rest, many masters reported that there is less reliance on food and rest in more advanced stage of meditation.
As a general advice, in adopting spiritual practices and lifestyle, listen to the natural rhythm of your body/mind/self and flows with it. If you are following the flow, there should be improvement in body, mind, and awareness. Consult authentic teachers and/or medical professionals when necessary.